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Iraqi Interim Government
The Iraqi Interim Government was created by the United States and its coalition allies as a caretaker government to govern Iraq until the Iraqi Transitional Government is organized following the Iraqi National Assembly election conducted on January 30th, 2005. The Iraqi Interim Government itself took the place of the Coalition Provisional Authority (and the Iraq Interim Governing Council) on June 28, 2004.
It is recognized by the U.S., the United Nations, the Arab League and several other countries as being the sovereign government of Iraq (see Iraqi sovereignty for more information). The U.S. still retains significant de facto power in the country and critics contend that the current government exists only at the pleasure of the United States and other coalition countries, whose military forces will remain in Iraq for the foreseeable future.
The coalition has promised that its troops will leave if the new sovereign government requests it. Some consider this scenario unlikely, since coalition military and financial support will both be practically indispensable to the new government. Although the new government is likely to distance itself as much as possible from American influence, the success or failure of the Iraqi Interim Government will have important implications when assessing the success or failure of the Bush administration's foreign policy.
The Law and the Head of government
The new government's active head of government is Prime Minister Iyad Allawi and his deputy is the influencial and charismatic Baram Salih . The ceremonial head of state is President Ghazi Mashal Ajil al-Yawer. They were all sworn in at a second and more public ceremony on June 28 2004, shortly after the small private one at which L. Paul Bremer, the Coalition Provisional Authority's administrator, formally gave chief justice Midhat Mahmoud the legal documents instituting the hand-over.
Until a permanent constitution is written, the new government will operate under the Law of Administration for the State of Iraq for the Transitional Period.
Allawi was a former member of the Iraq Interim Governing Council and was chosen by the council to be the Interim Prime Minister of Iraq to govern the country beginning with the United States' handover of sovereignty (June 28, 2004) until national elections, scheduled for early 2005. Although many believe the decision was reached largely on the advice of United Nations special envoy to Iraq, Lakhdar Brahimi, the New York Times reported that Brahimi only endorsed him reluctantly after pressure from U.S. officials, including Paul Bremer, the former US Iraqi Administrator.  Two weeks later, Brahimi announced his resignation, due to "great difficulties and frustration." . Allawi is often described as a moderate Shia (a member of Iraq's majority faith) chosen for his secular background and ties to the United States. However, his image has been undermined with the media suggesting that Allawi was Washington's puppet (e.g. Newsweek:"Iraq's New S. O. B." , NYT: "Dance of the Marionettes" ).
Actions of the Interim Government
After his interim government assumed legal custody of Saddam Hussein and re-introduced capital punishment, Allawi gave assurances that he would not interfere with the trial and would accept any court decisions. In an interview with Dubai-based TV station al-Arabiya he said: "As for the execution, that is for the court to decide — so long as a decision is reached impartially and fairly." 
"Precidents" and Accusations
In early July, Allawi issued an unprecedented statement claiming that the Iraqi interim government had provided intelligence for the U.S. air strikers with 500 and 1000-pound bombs on Fallujah in July.  Later he announced new security measures, including the right to impose martial law and curfews, as well as a new counter-terrorist intelligence unit, the General Security Directorate . Mr Allawi vowed to crush the Iraqi insurgency, saying he would "annihilate those terrorist groups" .
On July 17, two Australian newspapers, the Sydney Morning Herald ,  and The Age , published an article alleging that one week before the handover of sovereignty, Allawi himself summarily executed six suspected insurgents at a Baghdad police station. The allegations are backed up by two independent sources  and the execution is said to have taken place in presence of about a dozen Iraqi police, four American security men and Interior Minister Falah al-Naqib . Mr Allawi reportedly said that the execution was to "send a clear message to the police on how to deal with insurgents." Both Allawi's office and Naqib have denied the report. US ambassador John Negroponte did not clearly deny the allegations. On 18. July, Iraqi militants offered a $285,000 reward for anyone who could kill Iyad Allawi. 
In August, Allawi closed the Iraqi office of al-Jazeera for thirty days. His minister Hoshiyar Zebari deplored the "one-sided and biased coverage" and declared that the interim government "will not allow some people to hide behind the slogan of freedom of the press and media." Allawi also appointed ex-Baathist and former Saddam intelligence officer Ibrahim Janabi as the head of the Higher Media Commission, a regulator of Iraq's media. The banning of al-Jazeera was widely criticised in the Arab world and the West, for example by Reporters Sans Frontières who called it "a serious blow to press freedom" , , but more welcome in Washington, where al-Jazeera is thoroughly disliked.
The negotiations that followed the fighting between Muqtada al-Sadr's militia and joint US/Iraqi forces in Najaf ended when Allawi withdrew his emissary Mouwaffaq al-Rubaie on 14 August. An al-Sadr spokesman alleged that they "had agreed with Rubaie on all points but Allawi called him back and he ended the issue." 
Later Muqtada al-Sadr called Allawi's government "a colonialist, imperialist extension of the U.S. occupation of our lands."  Allawi has also been heavily criticised by members of his own government. Justice minister Malik Dohan al-Hassan resigned over the issue of an arrest warrant of Ahmed Chalabi. Vice president Ibrahim al-Jafari commented on the attacks against al-Sadr: "War is the worst choice, and it is only used by a bad politician." Another Iraqi official said: "There are brush fires burning out of control all over the place from terrorists and insurgents, and he starts a new bonfire in Najaf." 
While the strategy of "eliminat[ing] Moqtada Sadr's political movement" by "crushing his military power" instead of integrating him into the political process received mostly praise in the West , the Arab press leveled harsh criticism of Allawi's handling of the Najaf situation.
- Official Homepage of the Iraqi Interim Government
- Iraq Assembly Off to a Faltering Start (One World, Aug 15)
- middleeastreference.org.uk: Members of the Iraqi Cabinet
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